Over 3000 churches in California are set to re-open on Pentecost Sunday which is May 31st regardless to the decision of the state government.
According to Christian Post, around the nation, a robust debate has emerged as to how much state entities can restrict certain freedoms, particularly religious worship by deeming it “nonessential” in order to prevent further spread of a disease and stem a public health crisis.
“Our fear is simply this,” Governor Gavin Newsom said, as was reported by The Center Square Saturday, “Congregations of people from far and wide coming together in a closed space at a large scale remains a point of concern and anxiety for us. We are working on guidelines for physical distancing and working with faith leaders talking about unique conditions in their own facilities. Nothing is etched in stone.”
Matt Brown, who pastors Sandals Church in Riverside, blasted the governor’s decision to deem churches “nonessential.”
“He didn’t ask us. He overstepped and he’s overreached,” Brown said. “And he needs to step back and he needs to declare that the church is an essential part of what we do as Americans, as what we do as Californians.”
In a telephone conversation with Christian post, Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hill noted that the burden to minister to people and proclaiming the gospel are on the pastor.
“When we look around at this crisis, the issue of not exactly meeting the criteria of what is defined as a church — meaning our getting together, our fellowship with one another — the mandate given to us from Scripture to pray for one another even to the point where we are to lay hands on the sick and pray for them.
“The Christian ought to be the wisest, ought to be the best, the most resourceful citizen in any community. So by no means do we desire to resist the authorities that be according to Romans 13,” which speaks about how followers of Jesus are to conduct themselves in relation to the governing authorities.